Thursday, October 01, 2009

Count Me In Leadership Institute

Heat continues to be a theme here as it was REALLY hot in Boca Raton FL for the yearly meeting of the dedicated businesswomen of Make Mine A Million$ Business winners and racers. The meeting was at the corporate headquarters of Office Depot. An amazing place filled with a sense of community and inspiration. To be truthful, I have never been a "corporate" person so I didn't have a true sense of what it is to work in a positive team environment. It was really lovely. We were treated so well I am now an Office Depot shopper for life, sorry Staples.

The photo above is of Isisara Bey our "journey agent" for leadership whose voice rings in my head when I feel business swirling out of hand, she projects this remarkable balance between boundries and fun that continues to inspire me.

In the middle is Monica Luechtefeld, Office Depot's Executive Vice President of E-Commerce and Direct Marketing. Her back story is she personally spear-headed Office Depot's development of e-commerce. She is the visionary who said small business will order online when the common logic was "no way". So what we take for granted everyday- the ease of ordering office supplies online today and having them at your door the next, came from a woman who stayed true to her vision. And in those days women were more likely to be executive secretaries than Executive VPs.

On the right is Nell Merlino who believes women owned businesses will be the "recovery act"! Nell was the driving force behind "take our daughters to work" day. And has continued to be a vocal advocate for empowering women. Make Mine A Million$ Business is a program devoted to increasing the dismal 3% of women owned businesses generating 1 million dollars worth of revenue a year by providing women with the educational resources and networking opportunities that they have been outside of for years. From micro lending to macro earnings!

Personally, I am grateful for the opportunity to not only be the photographic historian of this movement but to participate. Being in a room filled with 100's of women dedicated to transforming an idea into a livelihood is an amazing experience. We are there supporting each other in all ways possible- business-and the ultimate challenge of women owned business- life balancing family and ambition!

For more information on this program:

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